Thursday, December 17, 2009
THE WONDER OF WHIFFLING -
AND OTHER EXTRAORDINARY WORDS IN THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE
by Adam Jacot de Boinod, illustrated by Sandra Howgate
Particular Books (Penguin) - NZ$35
The Wonder of Whiffling is a hugely enjoyable, surprising, very funny and rewarding tour of English around the globe (with fine coinages from English-speaking cousins across the pond, Down Under and elsewhere).
In here you will discover all sorts of words you’ve always wished existed but never knew, such as fornale, to spend one’s money before it has been earned; cagg, a solemn vow or resolution not to get drunk for a certain time; and petrichor, the pleasant smell that accompanies the first rain after a dry spell. Delving passionately into the English language, Adam Jacot de Boinod also discovers why it is you wouldn’t want to have dinner with a vice admiral of the narrow seas, why Jacobites toasted the little gentleman in black velvet, and why a Nottingham Goodnight is better than one from anywhere else.
Great, great fun, (I frequently laughed out loud), a perfect stocking stuffer for the wordsmith in your family.